Mass layoffs, unpaid leave from work cause unemployment rate to climb to 18.6%. Situation is expected worsen.

In an update issued on Tuesday morning, the Israel Employment Service reported that 615,834 Israelis have registered as job seekers since the beginning of March. Around 91% of these new job seekers have been put on unpaid leave.

The unemployment rate has now climbed to 18.6% of the population. On Monday night alone, 31,146 people registered as seeking work.

Rami Graur, Director-General of the Employment Service stated: “On the one hand, there was a decrease in the number of people registering as job seekers yesterday as compared to the previous few weeks. However, we estimate that by Passover, we will reach a situation where around a million people are looking for jobs, due to the coronavirus crisis.”

“This is in part due to decisions made by large Israeli companies to close branches, and also to a decision to allow local governments to send their staff on unpaid leave. Read more at Arutz-7